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Mario Lopez, who starred in “Saved by the Bell” and “Dancing With the Stars,” will play Vince Fontaine in FOX TV’s “Grease Live” on Jan. 31. Mario, 42, will play the radio personality at the high-school dance created by then-44-year-old Edd “Kookie” Byrnes. Rumors are flying that Fox has signed the original “Sandy,” Olivia Newton-John, to play the Eve Arden role of the school principal. Also, Nick Jonas is just about set as the “The Teen Angel,” played by Frankie Avalon, while Martin Short will probably be Coach Calhoun, originally created by comedy legend Sid Caesar. Fox better hire the best make-up artists because none of its cast, playing high-school students, is less than 22 years old.

“Sandy” will be played by 27-year-old Julianne Hough, the film star and “Dancing With the Stars” judge. Her love interest, “Danny Zuko,” will be Aaron Tveit, who was William “Tripp” Vander Bilt III in “Gossip Girl,” Mike Warren in “Graceland” and Enjolras in the film “Les Miserables.” He’s 32. Vanessa Hudgens, taking over for Stockard Channing as “Rizzo,” was a teenager when she made all those “High School Musical” TV films for Disney, but now she’s 26.

Carlos PenaVega, recently on “Dancing With the Stars,” also is 26, while Keke Palmer, Pink Lady “Marty Maraschino,” is 22. Pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, 29, is “Frenchy,” the “Beauty School Dropout.”

It’s a very talented cast, but they’re a bit long in the tooth as highschoolers. Fox couldn’t find one talented teen anywhere?

Don’t invite Adam Lambert and Demi Lovato to the same place! Apparently, Demi dumped Adam as opening act from her 40 city U.S./Canadian tour, starting June 24, in favor of Nick Jonas, who, coincidentally, has the same manager that she has. Or is it because Demi was opening act for the 2009 Jonas Brothers tour and this is payback? Just asking!

Talk about still too soon? “Look Who’s Back,” a Borat-style comedy about Adolf Hitler walking the streets of modern-day Berlin, based on the best-selling novel by Timur Vermes, topped the German film box-office, beating “The Martian” and animated hits “Inside Out” and “Hotel Transylvania 2.” Oy vey!

Johnny Depp needs better advisers. In 2013, “The Lone Ranger,” which he also produced, cost $225 million and grossed $260 million. In 2014, “Transcendence” cost $100 million and grossed $103 million. In 2015, “Mortdecai,” which he also produced, cost $60 million and grossed only $30 million. His latest, “Black Mass,” cost $53 million and grossed $76 million (barely at break-even). However, the five “Pirates of the Caribbean” films grossed $3.7 billion, collectively, while “Alice in Wonderland” grossed $1.03 billion, all by herself. Maybe Depp should produce a film called “Alice Meets the Pirates of the Caribbean”! !

© 2015 by King Features Syndicate

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